The Lakehead Thunderwolves started 2019 off on a winning note with a 5-2 victory over the Waterloo Warriors in front of 1,919 fans at the Fort William Gardens on Friday night.
The game was face-paced with plenty of end-to-end action and good goaltending at both ends of the ice.
Waterloo drew first blood when Mike Moffat finished off a tic-tac-toe play midway through the first period, but Lakehead’s Jordan King replied 15 seconds later when he slid the puck under Warriors’ goalie Trevor Martin just before crashing into him. Scott Gall and Joseph Leonidas were credited with the assists.
Josh Laframboise put the Wolves ahead at 4:26 of the second by putting a nice move on Martin from the edge of the crease, with Patrick Murphy and Brett Wolframe picking up the helpers.
Caleb Boman fired a hard wrister past Martin after a great setup by Murphy and Dexter Kuczek on a delayed penalty call at 7:12 to extend Lakehead’s lead to 3-1.
Waterloo’s Connor Lovie narrowed the gap to 3-2 at 12:02 of the middle frame by blasting a one-timer past Wolves’ netminder Nic Renyard while the Warriors held the man-advantage.
With Waterloo on another power play late in the third period, Lakehead’s Daniel Del Paggio scored a highlight-reel goal when he scooped up the puck and sped in alone on Martin and beat him glove side at 14:23.
The Warriors pulled Martin for an extra attacker with just under two minutes to go, but were unable to get anything past Renyard before Callum Fryer sealed the deal for Lakehead with an empty-netter at 19:47.
On the night, Lakehead went 2-for-3 on the power play while Waterloo was 1-for-9.
Total shots on goal were 34-28 for the Thunderwolves.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
- Daniel Del Paggio, Lakehead
- Josh Laframboise, Lakehead
- Patrick Murphy, Lakehead
The Wolves will be looking to sweep the weekend series when they take on the Warriors again tomorrow night, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 p.m.